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Juwan Staten announced late Saturday night via Twitter his plans to forgo the NBA draft and play his senior season at West Virginia.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Twitter brought good tidings to West Virginia basketball fans late Saturday night—news so good they may want to dig those season-ticket order forms out of the trash after all.

Juwan Staten announced he’s returning for his senior year.

The All-Big 12 point guard, coming off one of the most well-rounded individual seasons in the program’s history, was viewed as a 50/50 candidate to enter the NBA draft. And on the heels of backcourt mate Eron Harris abruptly transferring this week, the additional loss of Staten could have severely dented West Virginia’s hopes of making the NCAA tournament next year.

But just when the Mountaineers’ offseason had turned cloudy, the tireless playmaker Staten tweeted that he’ll put his draft dreams on hold: “Looks like I’ll be spending my senior year at WVU with my main man @CoachHuggs!!!”

Staten, who turns 22 in May just days ahead of receiving his degree in public relations, has already spent four years in college—one of those as a redshirt transfer after coming to WVU from Dayton. After being spotty as a sophomore and clashing with Huggins on occasion, Staten recommitted himself. He wound up leading the Big 12 in scoring (18.1) and minutes (37.2) as a junior, while finishing second in assists (5.8), third in shooting percentage (48.6) and eighth in steals (1.2).

After a season like that, observers wondered how Staten could possibly better his stock. Two areas he’ll try to address: Improving his 3-point shot to match the consistency of his mid-range jumper, and proving he can lead a team to the NCAA tournament for the first time.

As word spread of Staten’s decision to stay in school, he followed up with another tweet:

“The work I’m going to put in this offseason is scary. I want to be a 2015 NBA lottery pick!”

Facing next season without Staten would have been scary for Bob Huggins. Neither of the two combo guards signed from the high school ranks could have been expected to adequately handle the point guard duties, and senior Gary Browne has proven to be better suited to a reserve role.

Thursday’s revelation that West Virginia had offered a scholarship to Independence (Kan.) Community College point guard Tarik Phillip was viewed as another indicator Staten wouldn’t be returning. It bears watching to see whether that offer stands—and it might, because WVU still has a slot available from Harris’ departure. Plus, Huggins might relish having a point guard like Phillip groomed to bridge the gap once Staten and Browne are gone in 2015-16.

But Huggins was living in the now when he tweeted his contentment Saturday night:

“Happy and excited to have the pleasure of coaching @JuwanStaten3 for another year. Looking forward to helping Juwan achieve every goal.”

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  • Mister Man

    Fantastic day to be a Mountaineer!!

  • ole sasquatch

    Great news. Watching Dayton play defense, I hope we can copy that foot speed of staying in front of the offensive player and not allowing them to so easily go around us. Like our defense use to play when we were in the final four.
    I want to see a lot more of full court pressing like Huggins did when he was at Cincinnati. Quickness of feet people, that's what we need.

    • Aaron

      I agree. They've got the offense down, they need to improve on defense. Far to many guys getting easy shots due mostly to effort, or lack thereof.

  • jayzoom

    Staten may be staying but WVU will be one and done come march next year. Holton will be a bust if and I mean if he gets to play for the mountaineers next year (read between the lines. (THANKS OLLIE)

    • Aaron

      Why wouldn't he get to play? Holton is not setting out because he did not make the grades, he is setting out because he transferred from to a D-1 school to a Community College and then back to another D-1 school without getting his diploma. The NCAA is very clear on that rule and rarely, if ever grants waivers in such circumstances.

      Grades were never an issue with Holton, including his time at WVU. He will have 2 years of eligibility and will contribute to the success of West Virginia's basketball team.

      I understand you have a hatred of Oliver Luck that defies reason but there really is no need for fallacies.

  • Aaron

    While this is certainly great news for WVU fans, despite another posters claim that Staten would surely leave with Harris' transfer this is what I expected.

    I read of how WVU would have to replace 17 points, how the program was in a tailspin, in over it's head against superior talent with a coach who's time has passed him by and I've not bought into any of it for a second.

    As the additions will exceed the subtractions, WVU's team lead by HOF Coach Huggins and All American PG Juwan Staten WILL be a better team.

    • mad hatter

      i rhetorically concur with onus being on bad fans,and captain obvious, you're just smarter than the average bean. addition vs subtraction,,, man , now that's cool

  • Bob Straface

    Wonderful news, Wanny. Lead these returning and newcoming dudes to a tough off season and summer and let's make a run next year.

    Denton, Texas

  • richard

    next year is going to be a good year!

  • Low Rider

    Good decision…and great news for WVU. We would have had a huge gap at the guard position if Juwan had left school (with Harris' departure).

    I think the Mountaineers will be OK next year with Staten, Henderson and Browne at the guard position and two new incoming freshman. But quite frankly, the teams advancing in the NCAA tourney are the teams with the most solid inside play. There WVU will improve in 2014/15.

  • kenobill

    We don"t need another guard. We a big center or another 6'8' shooting forward.

    • Oh Did Ya?

      That forward you are looking for is Jonathan Holton

  • Baldeagle

    I think you made a wise decision in your plans for a future in the NBA. Take a little time off though, you worked your body hard this year and deserve a time to rest the body. Work on your 3pt as you said and get some of your fellow teammates out there with you. Either your serious about it or your not..time to walk the talk.

  • Dave

    Praise Jesus !!!!!!!!!


  • I'mJustStaten

    Great news! I think it comes together next year, with an NCAA tourney bid for sure. I'd love to see Staten, Henderson, Holton, Williams and Macon form a solid starting five.

    • ole sasquatch


  • Mountainer Fanatic

    Great news. LETS GOOOOOOO

  • Tim C

    Great news......Wannie is a bonafide All-American! Good luck on your senior season.

  • rlr

    Even when it's strictly good news there is still a negative spin on it throughout...I can see why we are always identified as the most miserable/depressed state..can't just make good news about the good news..very sad

  • Sweatsuithuggs

    Yeah good news.Wvu needs him badly should have got player of the year in big 12